Day 1 – Wednesday, 9th October
This afternoon we will depart from Dublin to Naples where, upon arrival, we will meet our tour escort and transfer to the four-star Bel Sito Hotel le Due Torri where we will spend the first night of our pilgrimage. After checking into our rooms, we will enjoy our evening meal.
Day 2 – Thursday, 10th October
This morning we will enjoy a scenic drive through the countryside to the hill-top town of Pietrelcina, birthplace of St. Pio. After the celebration of Mass, we will have a walking tour of the quaint town visiting the home of the Forgione family where Padre Pio was born, the Church of Sant’Anna where he was baptised and the church where he celebrated his first Mass.
After lunch in a local restaurant we will travel to nearby Piana Romana where we will see the humble farmhouse of the Forgione family and have time for prayer before the tree beneath which Padre Pio received the invisible stigmata. We will have a scenic drive through the countryside, enjoying the contrasting landscapes of the Italian countryside before arriving at our destination of San Giovanni Rotondo where we will stay in the four-star San Giovanni Rotondo Palace Hotel.
Day 3- Friday, 11th October
After breakfast we will celebrate Mass in the ancient church of Our Lady of Grace where St. Pio celebrated Mass, heard confessions and received the gift of the stigmata. Afterwards we will meet with one of the capuchin friars where we will hear more of the life of St. Pio and receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix of the humble friar.
In the afternoon we will follow in the footsteps of the humble friar during his time in San Giovanni Rotondo. Despite experiencing great suffering in his own life, through his ministries and great work which saw the realisation of the hospital in San Giovanni Rotondo, he helped relieve the sick and troubled from their own individual sufferings. After visiting the capuchin friary and seeing the cell occupied by the capuchin friar, we will visit the Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina and have time for private prayer before the mortal remains of this great saint of our time.
Day 4 – Saturday, 12th October
After breakfast we will travel to the town of Monte Sant’Angelo and celebrate Mass at the Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel, the oldest shrine in Western Europe dedicated to the Archangel Michael. As we make our way back to San Giovanni Rotondo we will visit St. Matthew’s monastery where we will have the blessing with the relic of St. Matthew and Holy Oils.
In the afternoon we will walk the Way of the Cross which allow us, as Christians, to pause and enter reflectively into those last moments of Jesus’s journey of love. We will have the remainder of the afternoon free for private prayer.
This evening, after dinner, we will participate in the Marian Torchlight procession as we honour the Madonna, for whom St. Pio had a great devotion.
Day 5 – Sunday, 13th October
We will celebrate the closing Mass of our pilgrimage and afterwards depart to Naples airport as we return to our homes, filled with a sense of tranquillity, rejuvenation and peace in our hearts.